Castor Transport - radioactive material on its way to Gorleben, Germany | 28Nov2011 20:48:02
Castor is an acronyme and means “cask for storage and transport of radioactive material“
The so called Castor transports are special transports of radioactive material, which caused manifestations of German citizens already 30 years behind. These protests still happen with all the strength and rhythm.
"Castor" is acronym designating a "cask for storage and transport of radioactive material."
Castor containers are special containers for storage and transport of highly radioactive materials, for example, nuclear power plant fuel.
Distinguished two types of transport.
1. transport of spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants in Germany for reprocessing abroad (La Hague, France and Sellafield in the UK).
New transport of this kind are prohibided by the German Ministry of Environment since July 1, 2005.
2.Transports of foreign reprocessed radioactive material to Germany for temporary storage (Gorleben). These transport has yet to be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Atomic Energy Act (1).
Also performed are transports of waste and low- and medium-radioactive material without the public knowing.
These transport always bring the risk of accidents, which because of the dangers of radioactivity to the environment and humans would be very fatal. According to the information in the webpage of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bfs) (2a), accidents ivolving castor-containers have already happened , but never were released dangerous levels of radioactivity.
The question of permanent storage is not yet resolved. Who could designate a place or a geologic structure, where the radioactive material will be safe for the next million years ?
The best investigated place for "safe" storage is the salt mine in Gorleben, in eastern Germany.
Since no one can guarantee a safe storage even for next million years (the time in which the radioactive material decays to a less dangerous level for the environment), the people have revolted now for more than 30 years with protests and attempts to block the transports.
The subject of a final storage is above all a political issue. Serious scientific research as the report "AkEnd" written by a group of experts, have been ignored by politicians, and it exists no serious intent to find alternative places to Goleben in German territory. There is another salt mine near the Goreben the "Asse II", where it was tried to store material of low and medium radioactivity. But as waters have infiltrated this mine, the risk that the material pollutes the amiente and very big. The barils have been dropped without any care into this mine. These have to be taken from there now, which costs the German citizens millions of euros.
The actual transport from France to Gorleben is now (28/11/2011 15:00h) with about 120 hours the slowest ever in the history of the transports, because of multiple barriers the manifestors made..
In this very moment at the commercial station of Dannenberg the containers are loaded from the train onto trucks.
Greenpeace is measuring the radioactivity on site: 4,5 microSievert / hour at 14 m distance to the containers. Thats about 600 times more radiation than at the same site before the arrival of the containers.
Then the last part of the transport begins, 20km of national road. More than 1300 people are “sitting and dancing on the road”.
Greenpeace activists locked themselves with concrete on the road, the police is now tryng to liberate them.
The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (www.Bfs.de)
Greenpeace used an infrared camera to film the transport passing throught the border; on the wagons you can se the heat given by nuclear decay